The 1st Kirkland Rangers travelled to Sangam, India in July. This blog post originally appeared on the KirklandRangersIndia blog and they have kindly agreed for it to be republished here. Visit their blog to read all about their adventures!
Our last day in India! It’s time to repack and balance the weight of our luggage, make sure we haven’t forgotten any gifts, and make our way back to Delhi for our flight home.
For breakfast we went to the hotel restaurant as our breakfast was included. Last night at dinner the chef came out to see us and asked if we liked the meal, and what we would wish for breakfast! We were surprised and answered that we were very happy with what was usually served. The chef insisted he would make some chicken sausages just for us! Indian food is no beef, no pork, the occasional lamb, and a lot of veggies and chicken! So here we are at breakfast and the waiter brings out a plateful of chicken sausages! So kind and accommodating of the chef! Most of the people we met were always trying to be helpful in every way. Even to the point of changing the music being played from Indian style to American! We didn’t have the heart to tell them they were playing Christmas carols!
The high-lite of our 5 hour drive to Dehli was the monkeys! We usually saw cows, water buffalo, goats, sheep, donkeys, elephants, monkeys etc in the streets almost daily. But today there were hundreds of monkeys at the side of the highway! Of course we were oohing and aahing! So our driver, Kumar, pulled over for us to feed the monkeys! There were also vendors of bananas and ears of corn at the side of the road so Kumar bought some corn for us to feed the monkeys. So many monkeys! Mothers with babies on their backs or at their breasts, young ones causing a ruckus, and the alpha male chasing all away to get his food first. I videoed the excitement and at time forgot I had me camera on so there are a few just ground scenes!
Upon arrival at our airport hotel we made our way to our rooms. Some just relaxed and others went for a dip in the rain to refresh. Each in our own way reflecting on our experiences and saying goodbye to a country that has touched our lives forever.
It is amazing how our time here has flown by and yet each day seemed to last 48 hours! What an amazing country of cultures that reach back centuries. A country that has touched all our senses.
Being some of few Westerners in many of the places we visited, we attracted much attention! Being the ‘different’ ones was at times scary, intimidating, heart warming and an eye opener! Some people tried to inconspicuously take selfies with us in the background, some asked to take photos with us, we felt some were trying to take advantage of us, and then there was the little child that was so happy when we waved at them! And they quickly, yet unsurely waved back! The reaction that affected me the most was that of an Indian woman returning a shy smile! Typically Indian women do not smile, it is a western tradition.
India is a country different from ours in so many ways.
Extremely poor slums to the Mercedes driving rich.
The various religions living side by side.
The free reign of cow and other animals.
The sewage and clean water issues.
Yet, Indian people still thrive. They are a proud and strong people.
We surprisingly adapted easily to avoiding the cow paddies, the garbage filled gutters, herds of cows crossing the road, the crazy drivers of cars/trucks/rickshaws/tuc tucs/motorcycles, and the horns blasting! We made it across the roads safely, yet perhaps with a few more grey hairs!
The Sangam experience created lifelong friendships and sisterhoods. As well as, opened a window and a connection to the local communities like no other World Centre. Pam, Angie and I have now been to each World Centre. We have experienced the wonderful sisterhood and the personal growth gained in each Centre. But the Sangam experience is remarkable!
Thank you to the amazing staff at Sangam for making this an experience of a lifetime for we older ladies. And a life changing experience for the younger ladies.
Thank you to our tour operator, Perfect Travels, for an awesome driver and great friendly tour guides! A couple rather goodlooking guides, too!
Thank you Rowena, Julie, Caroline, Julia, Emma, Pam and Angie for being my Guiding sisters on this trip. Thank you for being understanding, caring, fun, and so much more! Thank you for being you.